After Effects CC 2023: Highlighter Animation (Stroke Effect)

Solids Folder Basics

This tutorial will show you how to create a Text Highlighter Animation Effect in Adobe After Effects CC 2023. This is a fun and popular effect often used to highlight text in a book or magazine, etc.

Keyboard Shortcuts:
Y:  Create A New Solid Layer
G:  Select Pen Tool
U:  Reveal Keyframes
M:  Show Masks
Cmd/Ctrl + D: Duplicate Masks or Layers

Hex Codes (Highlighters):
Yellow: FBF719
Blue: 30C5FF
Green: 5DE23C 
Pink: FA3BF0
Orange: FF793B 
Red: F72F35

00:00 Intro: About the Tutorial
00:11 Composition Size (1080 x 1920px)
00:28 Create A New Solid Layer (Cmd/Ctrl + Y)
01:00 Add Stroke Effect
01:17 Effect Controls: Change Paint Style
01:31 Effect Controls: Color Property
01:45 Pen Tool (G)
02:15 Effect Controls: All Masks
02:33 Brush Size & Blend Modes
02:56 How To Animate Highlighter Effect
03:26 Modify & Duplicate Masks
04:01 Stroke Sequentially (Animate Lines In Order)
04:20 Finishing Touches


Software Used:
Adobe After Effects CC 2023 (Click To Try or Buy)

How To Create Highlighter Effect:

  1. Create New Composition (Cmd/Ctrl + N)
  2. Add Background Layer/Footage
  3. Add Solid Layer (Cmd/Ctrl + Y)
  4. Add Stroke Effect (Windows…Effects & Presets)
  5. Change ‘Paint Style’ to ‘On Transparent’
  6. Click Color Swatch and change to Highlighter Yellow (#FBF719)
  7. Select Solid Layer
  8. Go to top toolbar and click on the Pen Tool (G)
  9. Click to add a point where you want the animation to start
  10. Hold Shift + Click to draw a straight line or click multiple times to create Mask over text
  11. Press V for Selection Tool
  12. Double Click on Mask to modify or change position
  13. Go to Effect Controls and tick the box ‘All Masks’ for the Path Property
  14. Change the Brush Size (15)
  15. Go to Layers Panel
  16. Look for ‘Mode’ Column and if not visible click on ‘Toggle Switches/Modes’ at the bottom
  17. Change Blend Mode from Normal to Multiply
  18. Change Brush Hardness, Opacity, Spacing to taste

How To Animate Highlighter Effect:

  1. Drag Play-head to the beginning of the Timeline
  2. Click on the Stopwatch for ‘End’ and change to 0%
  3. Move Play-head forward in time 2 seconds
  4. Change the End Property to 100%
  5. Drag playhead to the beginning
  6. Tap Spacebar to preview.

How To Add Additional Masks (to highlight more lines or words)

  1. Twirl open Solids Layer or Tap ‘M’ to reveal Masks
  2. Twirl open Masks
  3. Select Mask
  4. Tap Cmd/Ctrl + D to duplicate Mask
  5. Select Mask in Comp Window and manually re-position or tap Arrow keys to move
  6. Double-click on mask to Transform or make adjustments to size
  7. Check the box ‘Stroke Sequentially’ to animate in order of Masks

Questions, Comments, Feedback?

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